Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Brownback Bill Aims to Curb DMCA Subpoena Powers: "Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) President Cary Sherman is likely in for some hostile questioning Wednesday morning when he testifies before the Senate Commerce Committee on the music industry's use of the subpoena power provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

"Chairing the hearing will be Sen. Sam Brownback (R.-Kan.), who on Tuesday introduced legislation directly aimed at curbing the RIAA's use of the subpoenas. Brownback's bill requires the owners of digital media products to file an actual case in a court of law in order to obtain the identifying information of an Internet service provider's (ISP) subscriber.

"The 1998 DMCA allows copyright holders to issue subpoenas to ISPs demanding the name, address and telephone numbers of ISP subscribers suspected of illegally downloading copyrighted material. The subpoenas can be filed prior to any charges of infringement, are not subject to a review by a judge, requires no notice to, or opportunity to be heard by, the alleged infringer."

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